How are things with the baby these days? Is she still keeping you up at night? We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but that may not change for the next few months. Did we say months? We meant years. But you knew that, right? Of course you did. On the bright side, every wake up is another opportunity to sniff her little head. This is not crazy-talk. The smell of that baby’s head will be the best thing that has ever happened to you. Even better than The Notebook.
In your new-parent fog, there are some things you might not know about that baby of yours. Don’t worry. Next time you’re up at 4:37 a.m. (a time you’re surely familiar with by now), have a look over this list and know that everything is going to be okay.
- You will look back on this time and make fun of something that you did, so keep that in mind when a decision right now seems like the biggest move of your life. Sure, the rest of us don’t have to share our missteps on Jimmy Fallon, but we’ll be laughing right along with you when you do.
- However angelic and sweet that little thing in your arms may be, one day she will start saying, “no” and life will never be the same. Treasure these moments when you can simply pack her up and take her anywhere with you and make use of them wisely. A year from now you will be at her mercy. Pretty much forever.
- Lower your expectations. Having a baby who never naps or who parties all night long is a thousand times easier when you stop trying to convince yourself that it’s because you’re doing something wrong. You’re not. She’s just not sleepy.
- The first year of your first baby’s life is just about the most precious thing there is. We know everyone will tell you how fast it all goes and it doesn’t feel like that at all right now but trust us on this one. Enjoy this moment.
- There is no such thing as spoiling a baby.
- Raise your daughter with the skills she needs to be strong and confident. The world pretty much expects it of you.
- There’s kind of a Murphy’s Law for parents. One tenet is something like: If you put on clean clothes, they will poop, pee, or spit-up on them. Remember this when you’re heading out to the Golden Globes this year. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
- If you’ve changed her, and she’s eaten, and you’ve held her and rocked her and bounced her, and nothing seems to be helping, take her outside. It’s amazing what fresh air and trees will do.
- Help your daughter learn how to move. Giving her an ideal environment for growth and movement today will set her up to develop physical literacy tomorrow.
- No matter what you think you’re doing wrong, no matter how many times that baby girl of yours is waking up in the night, no matter how many things you’re doing that people say you shouldn’t be doing, or how many things you aren’t doing that people say you should be doing, she will be just fine. And so will you.
So keep your expectations low, keep your head high, keep your wits about you. And, seriously, keep sniffing that baby’s head. You’re the perfect dad for her. She knows it. You won’t let her down.